Category Archives: Blessed Days

Prayer Upon the Prophet ﷺ for Rabi al-Awwal 1438

 

rabi-salawaat

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz recommends reciting the following prayer upon the Prophet ﷺ  10,000 times in Rabi al-Awwal:

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وسَلِّمْ وبَارِكْ على سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ الفَاتِحِ لِما أُغْلِقَ الخَاتِمِ لِما سَبَقَ نَاصِرِ الحَقِّ بِالحَقِّ و الهادِي إلى صِراطِكَ المُسْتَقِيمِ صلى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وعلى آلِهِ و صَحْبِهِ حَقَّ قَدْرِهِ و مِقْدَارِهِ العَظِيم

Allahumma salli wa sallim wa barik `ala sayyidina Muhammad al-fatih lima ughliq al-khatim lima sabaq nasiri’l-haqqi bi’l-haqq wa’l-hadi ila siratika’l-mustaqim sall’Allahu `alayhi wa `ala alihi wa sahbihi haqqa qadrihi wa miqdarihi’l-`azim

O Allah, bestow Your prayers, peace and blessings upon our Master Muhammad, the one who opens that which is closed, the seal of those that came before, the defender of truth with truth and the guide to Your straight path (and upon his Family and Companions), in accordance with the greatness of his rank.

This prayer is known as Salat al-Fatih, which is narrated on the authority of Sayyiduna `Ali bin Abi Talib. It was then taken on by Shaykh Abu Hasan al-Bakri and later Shaykh Ahmad al-Tijani, who both taught it to their students.

Habib Umar said that those calling to Allah have received many openings after repeating this prayer.

Click here to download an audio recording of Habib Umar reciting the prayer.

Welcoming Rabi al-Awwal by Seeking the Pleasure of Allah and His Messenger

hb-umar-6

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafīz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) teaches us how to welcome the month Rabi al-Awwal by. Extracts from a talk in the mawlid in Dar al-Mustafa, 3rd Rabi` al-Awwal 1333/ 26th January 2012.

The new moon of Rabi al-Awwal has appeared, the month in which Allah brought forth His best and most perfect slave, His Chosen One, His Beloved, the Most Noble of the First and the Last in the sight of the Lord of the Worlds. His uncle al-`Abbas addressed him at the end of his life, on their return from Tabuk, his last expedition, with the following verse:

ُوأَنْتَ لَمَّا وُلِدْتَ أشْرَقَتْ الأَرْضُ وضَاءَتْ بِنُورِكَ الأُفُق
ُفَنَحْنُ في ذلك الضِّياءِ وفي النُّورِ وسُبْلِ الرَّشَادِ نَخْتَرِق

When you were born the earth and the horizons were illuminated by your light

We remain bathed in that glow and it continues to light the path as we travel it

Every mawlid composed later is merely echoing what the Companions said to the Chosen One. They were the first people to celebrate the mawlid.

Our Master `Isa will descend to the earth and you will see how he will be ennobled by following Muhammad. Any of you that are with him at that time will see how he mentions the Master of Creation. His heart and the hearts of those present will be filled with veneration when they mention his name. He knows our Master Muhammad better than us, for a Prophet knows a Prophet. No member of this nation knows him in the way that the Spirit of Allah knows him.

The Master of the Followers, Uways al-Qarani, said to the greatest of the Companions, our Masters `Umar and `Ali, who knew the Beloved better than anyone: “All that you knew of the Messenger of Allah was his shadow.”

They said: “True, all that we knew of the Messenger of Allah was his shadow.”

Direct your hearts to attain His pleasure and a portion of His gifts. In every day and night there are gifts, and in every month, and in this month in particular. You attain these gifts according to your connection to the one who taught us, the unique one. Take a portion of his vast, noble, priceless teachings, with sincere desire, to attain the reality of:

It is more fitting that they please Allah and His Messenger if they are truly believers.[1]

Strive in this noble month to please the Chosen One, seeking to please Allah. Please him with your intentions, your ambitions, your words and deeds. Allah is pleased with those that praise his Prophet, those that venerate His Prophet, those that support His Prophet. He is pleased with that which pleases the Prophet.

It is more fitting that they please Allah and His Messenger if they are truly believers

You have spent so much of your time and thoughts seeking to please yourself, your family, your relatives and your friends. This may have caused you to travel from one country to another. Have you sought the pleasure of the Beloved? How much do you think about this? How much do you worry about this? How far have you travelled seeking his pleasure? How much hardship have you borne? How much have you sacrificed? There is nothing on the earth or in this life whose pleasure is more worthy of seeking than Muhammad.

It is more fitting that they please Allah and His Messenger if they are truly believers

According to your faith you strive to please Allah’s Beloved. Seek his pleasure! When the Companions saw that he was pleased, when his face shone with happiness, they said: “It was more beloved to us than red camels.” Nothing was harder for them to bear than seeing him angry, seeing the vein between his blessed eyes swell up.

Look for the true meaning of seeking his pleasure in this month. You will not find it on the satellite channels. Seek it from its source, connect to the light of his message. This will show you how to seek his pleasure, in which is the pleasure of the Most High. If you have in your heart an attribute which does not please him, then strive to rid your heart of it. He is not pleased with arrogance, so do not be content to show arrogance, even to inanimate objects, let alone animals or humans, for the Lord of all things dislikes you doing this.

Seek it by giving life to the sunnah in your house in Rabi al-Awwal! If your family are heedless of Allah between Maghrib and `Isha, joking or watching TV then bring to life the sunnah of venerating this time. Teach them at home at this time. If they are young, teach them the Arabic letters so that they are connected to the Qur’an. If they are older, go over with them the parts of the Qur’an that they have memorised.

If the sunnah of seeking forgiveness before Fajr is absent, bring it to life in Rabi al-Awwal. Let there be at least one person seeking forgiveness before Fajr in the house, one person saying to the Oft-Forgiving “forgive me!” at the time which Allah loves for people to seek His forgiveness, at the time when delegations came to the door of the Bestower.

If no-one in the house prays in congregation then teach your wife, your sister, your daughter to only pray in congregation. Bring life to these sunnahs. Remove anything that displeases your Lord from your house, anything that displeases your Prophet, audio or visual. Let the house be filled in Rabi with the remembrance of the Beloved, with the mention of his attributes, his life, his birth. You will be enlightened and so will your family.

Allah bless the people of good who are striving in the East and West, the people who are remembering and reciting the mawlid, for they are the keys to removing tribulation. People raising their voices with the remembrance of Allah and His Messenger in their houses, in the mosques and in the streets are a cause for hardships to be relieved. So many Muslim groups have lost the way. They do not know how to rectify themselves or those around them. They do not seek it from the door that Allah has opened:

Allah will not change what is in a people until they change what is in themselves.[2]

Let us change what is in ourselves. Let us make our children feel that Rabi al-Awwal has entered, and that it is connected to the Beloved. Make them feel that their lives are founded upon loving him, venerating him and following him. This is the foundation of the whole religion. May Allah grant you strong ambition and high intentions! May the end of the month not come before some of the rays of the Beloved’s light bring some relief to the suffering of the Muslims.

O Lord, bless us in this month. Bless us in our remembrance of You and Your Messenger. Make us among those who are mentioned in Your presence, and among those who are mentioned in his presence. Bless our hearts with noble intentions that raise us to the ranks of those beloved to You, so that on the Day of Judgement we are with those that you mentioned:

The Day on which Allah will not humiliate the Prophet and those who believe with him.

Make us with him, and our families, our children, our friends, our neighbours, our students.

Their light will run before them and by their right hands, while they say: “O Lord, perfect our light for us, and forgive us, for You have power over all things.”[3]

If anyone has anything in their heart that prevents them from seeking Your pleasure and Your Messenger’s pleasure then remove it so that they prefer You and Your Messenger over everyone else.  So that when we sleep tonight nothing is more beloved to us than You and Your Messenger. Increase us in love tomorrow and in the coming days until we meet You, O Most Generous!

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[1] Al-Tawbah, 9:62

[2] Al-Ra`d, 13:11

[3] Al-Tahrim,  66:8

Making Spiritual Hijrah

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) calls us to make a spiritual hijrah. 

The new year always reminds us of the Hijrah. The physical hijrah is an obligation for those who are unable to freely practise their religion in the place they are in. They must find a place in which they can practise their religion. The angels say to those who fail to make this hijrah: ‘Was Allah’s earth not expansive enough for you to emigrate therein?’1

We can also make a spiritual hijrah which is to leave everything which Allah has forbidden, as the Prophet told us. This is one of the loftiest types of hijrah. We must check our hearts and bodies at the beginning of this year in order to remove everything which Allah dislikes.

If someone is blessed to leave that which is forbidden he should then seek to leave that which is disliked and dubious. If someone is blessed to leave that which is disliked and dubious he should then seek to leave that which is frivolous and of no benefit. If someone is blessed to leave that which is frivolous he should then seek to leave everything other than Allah.

A person may be leaving that which is forbidden in one aspect of his life, that which is disliked in another aspect, that which is frivolous in another aspect and so on. If he perseveres he will eventually attain the greatest type of hijrah. Sayyiduna Ibrahim said regarding this: I am going to my Lord.2 Allah also said: So flee to Allah.3 The Prophet said: “The most truthful word spoken by a poet is the saying of Labid: ‘Indeed everything save Allah is false.’”4

Jihad, like hijrah, has many manifestations but one of the greatest is the one mentioned in the hadith that: “the mujahid is the one who strives against his own caprice.”

…………………………………..

1 Al-Nisa’, 4:97

2 Al-Saffat, 37:99

3Al-Dhariyat, 51:50

4Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim

Talking about Imam al-Husayn on Ashura

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

What should we mention when we talk about Sayyiduna al-Husayn at the time of Ashura?

We should talk about his upbringing and his character – his mercy, compassion and generosity. We should refer to the biographies of respected scholars from Ahl al-Sunnah. As for his martyrdom we can mention the fact that he requested one of three things from his killers: that he be allowed to return to al-Madinah or that he be allowed to go to fight jihad on the frontiers or that he be allowed to meet with Yazid ibn Muawiya. However, they rejected his request. He tried to save the lives of his relatives by telling them to leave but they insisted on staying with him.

Seeking Allah’s Forgiveness After Hajj

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One of the first things Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) did when he returned to Tarim after performing hajj was to seek Allah’s forgiveness. The Prophet said ﷺ : “O Allah, forgive the one who has made hajj and the one for whom he seeks forgiveness.” This is the prayer he made:

O Allah, as Your Prophet ﷺ taught us, we seek Your forgiveness for ourselves and those present and our families and our children and those in our homes and our neighbours and our companions and our students and all Muslims and believers male and female.

We ask You, by the secret of Your Beloved’s seeking forgiveness and his request that You forgive the person who performs hajj and whoever he seeks forgiveness for.. we ask You by what You said in Your Book: If only when they wronged themselves they came to you and sought Allah’s forgiveness and the Messenger sought forgiveness for them they would have found Allah Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.. we ask You for complete and all-encompassing forgiveness which leaves behind no wrongdoings or acts of disobedience. Replace all our bad deeds with good deeds and fulfil the rights that are due to others on our behalf.

O Allah, bless those who have performed hajj and visited Your Prophet ﷺ with complete acceptance and allow Your Prophet to intercede for us. Allow us to receive the gifts and secrets that were bestowed upon those who made tawaf and stood at Arafat and performed hajj and umrah. May this be a cause for us to increase in determination to honour our covenant with You so that we attain Your true love and remain firm upon the path which is pleasing to You in our words, deeds, intentions and all our states.

We ask that through Your acceptance of those that have performed hajj You relieve the sufferings of the Muslims and unite the Muslims. We ask for Your complete enabling grace and to be in the best company in the next life. We recite the Fatihah and donate the reward to the Chosen One and his Household and Companions and those that he loves and all of Allah’s pious slaves.

What is Meant by Hajj Mabrur?

Hb Ali Jifri 1

 

Habib Ali al-Jifri (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) asks: what is meant by the term ‘hajj mabrur’?

All praise is for Allah.

Our Master Muhammad ﷺ said: “The performance of `umrah is an expiation for the sins committed between it and the previous `umrah; and the reward of hajj mabrur is nothing less than Paradise.”[1]

The Mother of the Believers, Sayyidatuna Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “O Messenger of Allah, us women consider jihad to be the best of actions. Should we not perform jihad?”

He replied: “No. Rather, the best form of jihad is hajj mabrur.”[2]

What is meant by the term hajj mabrur which is the best form of jihad and the reward for which is Paradise?

A variety of answers have been given in response to this question.

In one hadith the Prophet ﷺ said that hajj mabrur is: “Giving food and spreading peace.”

Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) said it is: “`Ajj and thajj,” meaning raising one’s voice saying ‘labbayk’ and slaughtering the sacrificial animals in order to feed the pilgrims.

Another opinion is that in it the pilgrim does not detract from his hajj by committing any sins.

Other opinions are that it is an accepted hajj or one in which there is no ostentation or reputation-seeking or one in which the person performing it abides by all the rulings.

There is no doubt that all of these definitions are backed up by scriptural evidence and have a linguistic basis. Therefore it is possible to summarise the meaning of hajj mabrur in three points:

 

  1. Sincerity

The bare minimum level of sincerity needed in order for your hajj to be mabrur is that you seek Allah’s pleasure alone in performing it. There must be no ostentation or reputation-seeking in it.

In this regard the Prophet ﷺ said: “Actions are only by intentions. Each person shall only have what he intends.”[3]

You can elevate your intention by intending sincere repentance such that your spiritual state becomes higher after hajj. Up until very recently, people considered hajj to be a means of being elevated from one spiritual state to a higher spiritual state. After hajj you should no longer be neglectful of your obligations nor persistently commit minor sins or any major sins.

The highest level of sincerity during hajj is that nothing other than Allah enters your heart. This is a precious gift and a lofty station which is not easily attained. However, gifts such as these constantly flow forth from the treasure troves of Allah’s bounty. He is the Most Generous and He does not turn away those who place their hopes in Him.

 

  1. Wholesome Provision

The pilgrim should not fund his hajj with money that is not pleasing to Allah. This includes money spent on food, clothing, transport and other expenses incurred during the hajj as well as the maintenance of dependents left behind such as his wife and children.

The bare minimum in order for your hajj to be mabrur is that your money should not be from an unlawful source such as theft, bribery, fraud, usury or that is wrongly taken from others.

In a hadith it is mentioned: “If a man leaves for hajj with money which is pure, places his foot on the stirrup [of his riding animal], and says ‘labbayk Allahumma labbayk’ [4], a caller from the heavens will call out: ‘labbayk wa sa`dayk.‘[5] Your provision is lawful, your riding animal is lawful and your hajj is mabrur with no sin.’ But if a man leaves his home with filthy provision, places his foot on the stirrup and says ‘labbayk Allahumma labbayk’ a caller from the heavens will call out: ‘la labbayk wa la sa`dayk.’ [6] Your provision is unlawful, your spending is unlawful and your hajj is not mabrur.’”[7]

If you perform hajj with money which is filthy

Then you have not performed hajj – only your camels have

Beyond this, the pilgrim may reach a high level of scrupulousness such that he stays away from any doubtful sources of wealth and chooses only the best and purest of his wealth with which to perform hajj.

 

  1. Excellent Performance

The pilgrim should perform the rites according to the rulings of the Sacred Law whilst safeguarding his heart and limbs from everything that is not pleasing to Allah. He should busy himself with remembering Allah and not fall into argumentation or foul speech.

The bare minimum in order for the hajj to be mabrur is to perform the integrals and obligatory elements of the hajj as well as to abstain from the things that invalidate it and the things that are prohibited during it. Along with this, the pilgrim should do his utmost to say ‘labbayk’ and generally remember Allah in abundance, to feed people and interact with them in the best way.

The pilgrim can then seek to perfect his hajj by avidly performing its recommended acts, following the example of the one who said ﷺ: “Learn your rites from me directly.”[8] He should abstain from disliked things and perform the rites with the utmost attention to detail. He should not waste his time in superfluous permissible speech but rather should be preoccupied with remembrance of Allah, recitation of the Qur’an, supplication, pleading with Allah and reflection. His heart should be in a constant state of humility which is then reflected in his appearance and his interaction with others.

It is in this way that the hajj will be mabrur and the reward will be Paradise. The bounty of Allah is vast and unlimited and He is the Most Generous.

O Allah, protect the pilgrims who are coming to Your House and accept their rites for indeed they have come by Your bounty to receive Your bounty. Bless the good amongst them and by their virtue accept those who fall short. Return them to their homelands safely. Give us a great portion of what You pour into their hearts. Do not deprive us of the opportunity of performing hajj and visiting your Prophet, the Beloved, the Chosen One ﷺ.

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Translator’s note: based on the above, the term hajj mabrur could be translated as ‘a complete and accepted hajj.’

 

[1] Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim

[2] Narrated by al-Bukhari

[3] Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim

[4] ‘Here I am, O Allah, here I am.’

[5] ‘Here I am, at your service.’

[6] ‘I am not here and not at your service.’

[7] Narrated by al-Tabarani

[8] Narrated by Muslim, Ahmad and al-Nasa’i

 

The Night of Eid and Sunnahs of Eid al-Fitr

Takbir

Allah says that He wants you to finish the prescribed period and to glorify Him for the fact that He has guided you, perhaps you shall be grateful (2:185).

Finishing the prescribed period” means completing the fast of Ramadan. One of the means of “glorifying Him” is in making takbir, which is an expression of our gratitude to Allah for His guidance and enabling grace (tawfiq). We should fill the night before Eid with takbir from Maghrib up until the Eid prayer in the morning. The takbir is not limited to a specific time or place but rather it should be made at all times in our houses and mosques and in the streets (without causing disturbance). The Prophet said ﷺ: “Beautify your Eid days with the takbir.” We should read it with our hearts filled with the greatness of Allah so that we are not merely repeating words without experiencing their meaning.

Giving Life to the Night of Eid

It is a Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ to give life to the night before Eid, meaning spending whatever time we are able to during that night in worship and remembrance such that the night comes alive. The least we should do is to pray Maghrib, Isha and Fajr in congregation and then devote whatever time we are able to Allah. The mosques of Tarim fill in the the second half of the night with people reading the Qur’an in groups, praying and making takbir together at intervals. At the end of the night everyone comes together for a khatam and dua.

It has been narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “There are five nights on which du`a is not rejected: the first night of Rajab, the fifteenth night of Sha`ban, Thursday night, the night before Eid al-Fitr and the night before Eid al-Nahr (al-Adha).” Sayyiduna `Ali, may Allah be well pleased with him, used to spend four nights in worship: the first night of Rajab, the nights before the two Eids, and the 15th night of Sha`ban.

It is mentioned in the hadith that whoever gives life to the nights before the two Eids, Allah will give life to his heart on the day when hearts die. What is primarily meant is safety on the Day of Judgement, but even in this life the majority of people’s hearts are dead, starved of the remembrance of Allah and heedless of the return to Him. Remembering Allah on nights such as these, however, when most people are busy with other things, will give life and tranquility to our hearts.

Eid then will be a true celebration, an expression of our gratitude to Allah for the ability to worship and remember Him in the previous days and nights.

There are different forms of the takbir. Here is one of them:

اللهُ أَكبرُ اللهُ أَكبرُ اللهُ أَكبر، لا إله إلا الله، الله أكبر الله أكبر ولِلَّهِ الحَمْد

اللهُ أَكبرُ اللهُ أَكبرُ اللهُ أَكبر، لا إله إلا الله، الله أكبر الله أكبر ولِلَّهِ الحَمْد

اللهُ أَكبرُ اللهُ أَكبرُ اللهُ أَكبر، لا إله إلا الله، الله أكبر الله أكبر ولِلَّهِ الحَمْد

الله أكبرُ كَبيرا والحمدُ لله كثيرا وسُبْحانَ اللهِ بُكْرَةً وأَصيلاَ

لا إله إلا الله لا نَعْبُدُ إلا إِيَّاهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الكافِرون

لا إله إلا الله  وَحْدَه صَدَقَ وَعْدَه ونَصَرَ عَبْدَه  وأَعَزَّ جُنْدَه وهَزَمَ الأَحْزَابَ وَحْدَه

لا إله إلا الله واللهُ أكبرْ ولِلَّهِ الحَمْد

Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar la ilaha ill’Allah. Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar wa lillahi’l-hamd 

Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar la ilaha ill’Allah. Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar wa lillahi’l-hamd

 Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar la ilaha ill’Allah. Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar wa lillahi’l-hamd

Allahu akbar kabira w’al-hamdulillahi kathira wa subhanallahi bukratan wa asila

La ilaha ill’Allahu la na`budu illa iyyahu mukhlisina lahu’ddina wa law kariha’l-kafirun

La ilaha ill’Allahu wahdahu sadaqa wa`dahu wa nasara `abdahu wa a`zza jundahu wa hazam al-ahzaba wahdah

La ilaha ill’Allahu w’Allahu akbar wa lillahi’l-hamd

 “Allah is most great. There is no deity save Him, all praise belongs to Him.

There is no deity save Him and we worship none but Him in complete sincerity even if the disbelievers dislike it.

There is no deity save Him alone. He fulfilled His promise, gave victory to His slave, made mighty His forces and He alone destroyed the Confederates. Allah is most great, there is no deity save Him, all praise belongs to Him.”

The scholars say that whenever it is recommended to remember Allah it is also recommended to mention His Messenger ﷺ . Had it not been for him, there would be no Ramadan or Eid or takbir. For this reason we should add, in honour of our Messenger, his Companions, wives and progeny:

اللهُمَّ صلِّ على سَيِّدِنا محمد

وعلى آلِ سَيِّدِنا محمد

وعلى أَصْحابِ سَيِّدِنا محمد

وعلى أَنْصَارِ سَيِّدِنا محمد

وعلى أَزْواجِ سَيِّدِنا محمد

وعلى ذُرِّيِّةِ سَيِّدِنا محمد

وسلِّمْ تَسْليماً كثيراً

Allahumma salli `ala sayyidina Muhammad

Wa `ala ali sayyidina Muhammad

Wa `ala ashabi sayyidina Muhammad

Wa `ala ansari sayyidina Muhammad

Wa `ala azwaji sayyidina Muhammad

Wa `ala dhurriyati sayyidina Muhammad

Wa sallim tasliman kathiran

Sunnahs of Eid al-Fitr

We should do what we are able to implement the other sunnahs of Eid al-Fitr.

Among them are:

  • Taking a bath whether or not you are attending the Eid prayer
  • Wearing your best clothes and best perfume –  the Messenger of Allah ﷺ had special garments that he would only wear on Eid.
  • Eating an odd number of dates before the Eid prayer
  • Walking to the prayer, taking a longer route on the way there and returning by a different shorter route.
  • Shaking hands with your brethren, congratulating them on the Eid and asking that their actions be accepted by Allah.
  • Being especially generous to your family, displaying your happiness on the occasion and trying to visit your relatives and friends.

 

 

 

Photo by Val Vesa on Unsplash

Bidding Farewell to Ramadan

We thank Allah for the blessing of Ramadan and for all that He has enabled us to do and we ask Him to give us the best ending to this blessed month.

The Messenger of Allah  ﷺ said that on the final night of the month everyone would be forgiven. His Companions asked if this night was Laylat al-Qadr.

He replied: “No, do you not see that when workers finish their work they are paid their wages in full?”

Every night in Ramadan Allah decrees the safety of 600,000 people from the Fire (or one million in some narrations). Then on the last night He decrees the safety of the same number of people that He decreed on every night of the month. So if one million people are saved from the Fire every night then the total at the end of the month would be thirty million. Allah would then save another thirty million on the last night.

We ask Allah for the best of endings as “actions are judged by their endings.” While using whatever is left of the month to perform good actions we should also spend some time seeking forgiveness (istighfar). As some of the early scholars said this patches up any “holes” that we may have made in our fasting and is like a seal on our actions. We should have great hope in Allah that He accepts our actions in Ramadan and allows us to experience Ramadan again and again. We should intend from now the good actions which we wish to perform after Ramadan, starting with fasting six days of shawwal.

We must also pay our Zakat al-Fitr if it is compulsory for us to do so. The Messenger of Allah made Zakat al-Fitr compulsory as purification for the fasting person from vain and coarse speech and to provide food for the needy. It is thus a means of purification for the fasting person and a means of assisting the poor at a time of celebration which Allah wishes for all to take part in. It has also been narrated that our fasting is suspended between the heavens and the earth and not accepted by Allah until we pay our Zakat al-Fitr. One of the early scholars said that Zakat al-Fitr is to fasting what the prostration of forgetfulness (sujud al-sahwu) is to the prayer. We should refer to the scholars in our locality for details on how it should be paid and distributed.

 

Salat for the Night of Badr

Advice from Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) on the night of Badr – recite this prayer in abundance:

 

يا حَيُّ يا قَيُّومُ صَلِّ على حَبِيبِكَ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّد، وأَغِثْنِي بِهِ، وعلى آلِهِ وصَحْبِهِ وسَلِّمْ

Ya Hayyu ya Qayyum salli `ala habibika sayyidina Muhammad wa aghithni bihi wa `ala alihi wa sahbhihi wa sallim

O Living, O Sustainer, bestow prayers and peace upon Your Beloved, our Master Muhammad and upon his Family and Companions and by him come to my aid!

 

Commemorating Badr

On the 17th Ramadan we commemorate the Battle of Badr, which took place on that day in the second year of the Hijrah. It is one of the most important events in the history of the Ummah, and Allah describes it as the Day of Discrimination. Sayyidi Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) places great emphasis on commemorating it and marks the event by completing the Qur’an in Tarawih on the eve of the 17th, after which there are big celebrations in Dar al-Mustafa attended by thousands. The rest of the night is spent in prayer, remembrance and supplication, since prayers are answered when the Qur’an is completed.

Habib Umar reflects upon some of the lessons we can learn from Badr. Extracts from a Friday khutbah, Masjid al-Rawdah, Tarim 12th Ramadan 1432 / 12th August 2011.

He began by praising Allah and bestowing prayers upon the Messenger of Allah. He then enjoined people to have taqwa, attaining which is one of the aims of fasting and the wisdom behind Allah making it compulsory upon us.

The realities of taqwa which the Imam of the People of Taqwa ﷺ and his Noble Companions possessed were made manifest in days such as these in the second year of the Hijrah. In Sha`ban of that year both fasting and Zakat were made compulsory. The Prophet and his Companions then began fasting Ramadan in intense heat. On a day similar to this all those years ago, your Prophet left his family and home and went out to Badr with around 313 of his Companions. Why did he go out? To give victory to the religion of Allah and to convey the message of his Lord. In spite of the heat and the difficulty of the journey he continued fasting on some days but he also broke his fast on other days.

On the expedition he shared a camel with Sayyiduna `Ali and Sayyiduna Mirthad bin Abi Mirthad and they each took it in turns to ride while the other two walked. They said to him:

“O Messenger of Allah, you ride and we will walk.”

He replied ﷺ:

“Neither are you stronger walkers than me, nor am I in less need of the reward than you.”

Here he taught us several lessons. He taught us a lesson in sacrifice and in negation of pride and satisfaction with one’s actions. He displayed his need for the reward of Allah, in spite of the fact that even if he had ridden and let them walk, he would have received the reward for their actions because he was the one that guided them to Allah. O believer, this is the Best of Creation saying: “Nor am I in less need of the reward than you.” Do you think you are not in need of the reward of Allah such that you leave prayers which you are able to perform or gatherings of remembrance which you are able to attend? You are in need of the reward of every action in Ramadan specifically and in the rest of your life. So expend your efforts – try to reflect upon the Qur’an and to attend the gatherings of remembrance. It was the custom of the early Muslims to hold gatherings after praying Tarawih and Witr in which the attributes and etiquettes of the Chosen One were mentioned.

None of the Companions that went out expected to go into battle with Quraysh but Allah wished to ennoble those great people. The Angel Jibril later asked the Prophet ﷺ how he and his Companions regarded the people of Badr. He replied “They are the best of us.” Jibril said: “Likewise we regard the angels of the heavens that attended Badr as being the best of us.” They attained this rank because they gave victory to the best of people in the sight of Allah .

People naturally tend to choose that which is easier for their souls to bear but beyond that easier choice there may be something greater awaiting. If Allah then decrees something which is harder for the soul to bear the believer gains felicity by being content with the decree of Allah in the knowledge that this is better for him. Sayyiduna `Ali said: “If the veil were to be removed you would only choose what has already been decreed.”

Allah promised you one of the two groups that it should be yours. You wished that the unarmed group should be yours, but Allah willed to establish the truth according to His words, and to cut off the roots of the disbelievers.1

The Companions succeeded because of they had the love of Allah and His Messenger in their hearts. Twelve nights of Ramadan have passed and you have not yet understood this concept. Ramadan has only come so that you can be elevated. This love is the foundation of victory and of honouring one’s covenant with Allah. We witness this in the words of the Companions on the approach to Badr. The Messenger of Allah wished to hear their opinions after it had become clear what they were confronting.

Sayyiduna al-Miqdad bin al-Aswad said:

“By Allah we will not say what the Children of Isra`il said to Musa: Go, you and your Lord and fight, while we sit here!2 Rather we say: Go, you and your Lord and fight, and we are with you fighting alongside you!”

Sayyiduna Sa`d bin Mu`adh said: “We believe in you and bear witness that your message is the truth. Go forth to perform what Allah has commanded. Perhaps you wished something and Allah willed something else. Make war with whoever you wish and make peace with whoever you wish and we are behind you. Take from our wealth what you wish and leave what you wish, and what you take is more beloved to us than that which you leave. By Allah, if you took us to the sea and then plunged into it, we would follow you. You have left behind people (in Medina). Our love for you is not more intense than their love.” They knew that love of Allah and His Messenger was the foundation of their defence of truth and guidance. “Had they known that there would be fighting not a single man would have stayed behind… perhaps Allah will show you in us that which is a joy to your eye, O Messenger of Allah.”

When the Prophet heard this his face lit up like a piece of the moon.

He said:

“Go forth with good tidings for Allah has promised me one of the two groups – either the caravan or the army. It is as if I can see the exact places where Quraysh will fall.”

He subsequently pointed out those exact places the day before the battle.

Look at the disparity between the two sides. The Muslims only had eight swords, two horses and seventy camels, each of which three people shared. The Quraysh, on the other hand, had hundreds of swords and spears, two hundred horses and they would slaughter nine or ten camels a day for food not to mention the camels that were being used to carry the army. The Quraysh approached arrogantly boasting about how they would defeat the Muslims. This is characteristic of the people of opposition to Allah, and those heedless of Him. The Muslims, however, approached in a state of humility and fear of their Lord, and Allah duly raised them. 

Allah describes those that He loves as being:

Humble and compassionate in their dealings with the believers, severe in their dealings with the rejecters. They strive for the sake of Allah and are unafraid of the reproaches of those that find fault. That is the bounty of Allah, which He bestows on whom He pleases. Allah encompasses all and knows all things. 3

In the second khutbah, after praising Allah and bestowing prayers upon the Messenger of Allah, Habib `Umar once again enjoined people to have taqwa. He said if you clothe yourselves in taqwa you will attain the secrets of fasting, the illumination of the night prayer and the reality of the transaction with Allah.

With true love for Allah and His Messenger you will be able fulfil the commandments of Allah and gain victory over your lower selves, over your desires and caprice, over this deceptive worldly life and over those who disbelieve from the devils of mankind and jinn.

Among the Companions were youths, some of them only fifteen or seventeen years old. One of those was Sayyiduna Harithah, who was one of the fourteen Companions martyred at Badr. His mother came to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ upon his return to Medina.

She asked him:

Where is my son? If he is in the Garden I will be content but if not you will see how I behave!”

The Messenger of Allah said to her:

Umm Harithah, do not be foolish – it is not one garden, but many, and your son has entered the highest garden of Firdaws!”

O people who are planning for the future, is there any future greater than this? Let us make firm the foundation of love so that we follow the path of those Companions, may Allah be well pleased with them.

O Allah we love them for Your sake so show us their faces on the Day of Judgement and in Paradise.

Let there be nothing in our houses which displeases Your Prophet Muhammad, whether it be on our screens or in our behaviour. Help us to give this month its due and enable us to follow the Chosen One, honouring the covenant between us and You.

Invoke abundant blessings upon him because this is what will bring you close to him on that day. As he said:

The closest people to me on the Day of Judgement are the ones who invoke the most blessings upon me.”

 

1 Al-Anfal, 8:7 What is meant by the “two groups” is the caravan led by Abu Sufyan, which the Muslims had originally set out to intercept, and the army which Quraysh sent out from Mecca. The Muslims naturally did not wish to come up against a fully equipped army.

2 Al-Ma’idah, 5:24

3 Al-Ma’idah, 5:54